Umbra Fisk

Ask Umbra®

Advice for Living Green

Yours is to wonder why, hers is to answer (or try). Send your green-living questions to Umbra.

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Umbra Fisk is Grist Research Associate II, Hardcover and Periodicals Unit, floors 2B-4B.


Ask Umbra: Can I drink coffee with a clear conscience?

A reader wonders if her trenta caffe latte makes a grande mark on the planet. Umbra does a little venti-ing.


Ask Umbra: Is it OK to reuse biodegradable plastic spoons?

A reader asks if she can toss those colorful fro-yo spoons in the dishwasher and use them again. Umbra gives her the straight scoop.


Ask Umbra: Is it irresponsible to use cloth diapers in a drought?

A reader wonders if all that wash water turns a green option brown. Umbra says that's a loaded question.

Business & Technology

Ask Umbra: Who makes the most awesomely eco-tastic computers?

A reader wants to take a byte out of his environmental footprint. Umbra chips away at the problem.


Ask Umbra: Should I get my panties in a bunch?

A reader wonders about the bags her undies come in. Umbra says that's a delicates subject.


Ask Umbra: Is my compost pile contributing to climate change?

A reader worries that her banana peels are giving off bad gas. Umbra forks over some scrappy advice.


Ask Umbra: What’s better than butter? Spreads will roll

Olive oil from the fridge? Apple sauce? Prunes? Our green advice guru explores a tub full of butter substitutes.


Ask Umbra: Can I feed feral pigs to Fido? Should I?

If invasive species like wild boar are running amok, why not turn them into pet food? Umbra cuts through the mystery meat for an answer.


Ask Umbra: How do I clean my too-green roof?

A reader is on a mission to rid her roof of moss. Umbra says the ladder days are coming.

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We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.